I haven't felt much enthusiasm for Christmas this year. Normally by now I'd have been buying little bits and pieces each week for presents, and my cards are usually written by the end of November ready to be posted as soon as December rolls around. But I haven't felt much enthusiasm for anything since my baby Grandson died in September, and I just hadn't been able to jolly myself up enough to think about cards or presents. I knew I was probably creating problems for myself as our finances really don't allow for leaving the shopping until the last minute, but I just wasn't in the mood.
Then last week I went to visit family. My mum helped out by paying for the diesel thankfully, and I was able to be with my son and his partner on what should have been my grandson's 1st birthday. We had a little party for him and let off lanterns and burnt a cot bumper, and surprisingly it was an evening full of laughter (after we almost set fire to next door! Oooops. I think we need to find something safer next year!) I think he would have been pleased that we could laugh.
We had planned to return the next day, but hubby was feeling too ill to want to attempt the drive. In the end we were there for almost a week. Mum sensibly pointed out that if I didn't do my shopping while I was up there, I'd have the cost of postage to find too so all of a sudden I found myself propelled into a frenzy of shopping. Would you believe I got almost all of it done in one day? AND spent less than £20?
I had already decided that I was only really going to buy for the children this year. I usually like to get something for everyone so they all have something to open, even if it's just a little token gift, or maybe a home made cake or similar, but like I said, this year I just haven't felt up to either shopping, baking or crafting. I know all the adults will understand. At least I hope so!
I have to admit I didn't really put as much thought into the gift buying as I usually do, and funds were very limited so even the grandchildren only had an average of less than two pounds spent on them... but then hubby and I do have nine grandchildren between us so it can very quickly add up.
Our eldest grandchild is eight, most of them are babies or toddlers so it was fairly easy. I know it's likely to get harder, and more expensive as they grow, but for now I know cuddly toys and selection boxes will be most welcomed.
I spent an extra couple of pounds replacing some of the things on my grandson's grave that were damaged in the very high winds but we've decided that we will donate to Sense for Christmas as we can't buy him toys. You can donate £3 by texting TOY to 70007 and help raise money for sensory toys for deaf and blind children. I think he'd like that very much.
If I somehow manage to sort out presents for the rest of the family, all well and good, but at least now I know I can relax, safe in the knowledge that at least all those who still believe in Santa will have a little something in their stockings.
If you are in the UK and haven't signed the petition against cot bumpers yet, you can do so at http://epetitions.direct.gov.uk/petitions/54991 We need 100,000 signatures to get it read in parliament and we still have a very long way to go.